“He Shall Confirm a Covenant with Many”
The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist
According to Bible prophecy, the event that takes the Antichrist to the pinnacle of power on the international scene and begins his seven-year reign is a seven-year pact or covenant described in the book of Daniel. Whether this covenant is the actual formation of a one-world government or whether it is brokered by that government, already in place is a matter of speculation. However, events such as the formation of the European Union and the adoption of the euro by most of its members as a single currency have shown that nations are prepared to put aside national sovereignty in order to achieve greater economic and political ends. And it is not only Europe. The African Union, which includes 53 African nations, was formed in 2001 and aims eventually to have a single currency, a single integrated defense force, as well as other institutions of state, including a cabinet for the AU Head of State.
In 2004 the nations of South America signed the Cuzco Declaration, a two-page statement of intent, announcing the foundation of the South American Community modeled after the European Union, including a common currency, parliament, and passport.
The Asian Cooperation Dialogue which includes 30 Asian countries including Russia, China, and India, states that its aim is to ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community.
Those are watershed events, for until relatively recently, national sovereignty has been nonnegotiable to nations since the beginning of time. To voluntarily pass on some of the rights and privileges inherent to national sovereignty to a supranational body is a major step.
Just when this one-world government is inaugurated or what events will lead up to it is not now known, but this one-world government will not be a debating club similar to the United Nations. This government will wield governmental authority on a global scale.
The Bible refers to this covenant as a “Holy Covenant” (Daniel 11:30), because of its religious implications. At least in part, it has to do with the Jews rebuilding their national temple in Jerusalem and the restoration of animal blood sacrifices on its altar, a practice that was the heart of their religious observance until their temple was destroyed by the Romans nearly two millennia ago.
The temple was situated on the top of Mount Moriah, now commonly known as Temple Mount or to the Muslims as Al-Haram al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary), in the center of old Jerusalem. The first temple was built there under the direction of King Solomon and dedicated in 960 b.c. The Babylonians later razed it to the ground during their sack of Jerusalem in 587 b.c. The Jews under Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple in 515 b.c. In 19 b.c., King Herod I, the Idumean king of Judea, which was part of the Roman Empire at this stage, began the project of enlarging and beautifying the temple complex in the period shortly before Jesus’ birth, circa 4 b.c. This project wasn’t totally completed till 64 a.d. To facilitate the building of the original temple, the top of Mount Moriah had originally been made level by the building of a retaining wall around the summit and then filling it in with rock and dirt. Part of this retaining wall remains today and is referred to as the Wailing Wall.
In 70 a.d., the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. They did not leave one stone upon another, fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:2: “Do you not see all these [temple buildings]? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Jerusalem remained under Roman/Byzantine dominion until the Muslim Arabs captured Jerusalem in 638 a.d. under the second Khalif, ’Umar ibn al-Khattab. He built a wooden mosque on the southernmost wall of the Noble Sanctuary. This was later replaced by a stone structure in 705 a.d. It is called the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which still stands.
Moreover, in 687 a.d., Abd al-Malik, the fifth Khalif of the Arab Umayyad dynasty, had a second mosque, the beautiful Dome of the Rock, built over the rock that was previously the altar rock in the Jewish temple—the rock upon which it is believed that the Hebrew patriarch Abraham started to sacrifice Isaac. And that mosque also still stands there today. The rock was also sacred to Muslims because it is the site from which the Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad made his Miraaj or Night Journey into the heavens. Because of the significance of this spot, it’s quite obvious that the Muslims today would never agree to the Jews rebuilding their temple over this site, and it is extremely unlikely that the Jews would ever consider building it anywhere else.
When Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, the aged Jewish historian, Israel Eldad, was quoted in TIME magazine as saying, “We are at the stage which David was when he liberated Jerusalem. From that time until the construction of the temple by Solomon, only one generation passed.—So will it be with us.”
Just two weeks before the war in which the Israelis occupied old Jerusalem and the Temple Mount area, on May 21, 1967, the Washington Post and the New York Times ran the following anonymously sponsored full-page ad:
To Persons of the Jewish Faith all over the world:
The project to rebuild the temple of God in Israel is now being started. With divine guidance and hope, the temple will be completed. It will signal a new era in Judaism. Jews will be inspired to conduct themselves in such a moral way that our Maker will see fit to pay us a visit here on Earth. God will place in the midst of many persons in all walks of Jewish life the desire to participate in this work. Executive talents, administrators, and workers in all levels are needed. All efforts will be anonymous. God will know those desiring to participate. God’s Will Shall Prevail.
Today, there is a growing impetus within Israel and amongst Jews worldwide, a drive spearheaded by the Temple Institute situated in Old Jerusalem, to see the temple rebuilt. Indeed, it is reported that much of it has already been prefabricated and it just remains for it to be assembled. The Temple Institute has also already fabricated the sacred vessels and garments needed for use in the temple, and these can be seen displayed in their headquarters. Some of these can be viewed on the World Wide Web at http://www.templeinstitute.org.
Even though the Israelis are in control of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount remains under the control of the Muslims in the person of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The only way the Muslims and the Israelis could work out some kind of an agreement or compromise with each other so that the temple could be rebuilt would be with the direct intervention of a dominant outside third party, such as a world government. This compromise or agreement is thought by many Bible scholars with expertise in Endtime studies to be part and parcel of the Covenant spoken of in the Bible prophecies of Daniel.
Daniel wrote: “And he [the Antichrist] shall confirm a Covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27). The original Hebrew word that is translated “week” in the New King James Bible, the Bible translation we will be quoting from in this book, is shabua, which means “unit of seven.” Therefore a little better, more understandable translation of this verse would be: “And he shall confirm the Covenant with many for one unit of seven.” And by carefully studying the marvelous Messianic prophecy regarding the exact time of the first coming and crucifixion of Christ in verses 24 to 26 of Daniel chapter 9, we know that “one week” or “one seven” equals seven years. Thus the verse can be understood as saying, “And he shall confirm a Covenant with many for seven years.”
This seven-year agreement will have to be a very ingenious compromise, and it is thought it will deal with not only the Temple Mount, but also the entire city of Jerusalem. Today Jerusalem is an irresolvable issue. The majority of Israelis have sworn that they will never let it go nor share it, that it is their “eternal capital” forever. David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), the first prime minister of Israel, vowed, “We took Jerusalem and we will never give it up again until the last man and woman is dead defending it. No matter what the cost, we will never give it up until the last Jew is dead. That’s how all our people feel.”
On the other hand, the Palestinians, who have lived there for over a thousand years and refer to it as Al-Quds (The Holy), want East Jerusalem, which the Israelis captured from them in the 1967 war, as their capital. This is a proposal that successive Israeli governments have dismissed outright. The future of Jerusalem and of the Temple Mount is one of the most intractable issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
To resolve this issue, it is believed that the Antichrist will internationalize the city of Jerusalem. Most people today don’t realize that this was in the original agreement that set up Israel as a homeland for the Jewish nation. Corpus Separatum (Latin for separate body) was the term used in the 1947 UN Partition Plan to describe the internationalizing of Jerusalem. The unique status for the city was because of its association with three world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It was to be under a special international regime administered by the United Nations. This plan was reconfirmed in United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 194 and 303.
Many Bible prophecy teachers believe that the Antichrist is going to be of Jewish descent, as one description of him in Daniel says that he “regards not the God of his fathers” (Daniel 11:37). If he is Jewish, this could be one reason he succeeds in getting the Israelis to compromise and allow this to occur. In fact, according to the Bible, this world dictator of this one-world government eventually makes Jerusalem the political capital of his world government (Daniel 11:45; 2 Thessalonians 2:4). Could the prestige that comes with the world being governed from its ancient capital be the impetus that Israel needs to compromise its stance on Jerusalem?
Daniel prophesied of the Antichrist that there “shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue” (Daniel 11:21). He is described here as a “vile person” because God knows he is, but it would seem that he is going to be quite a popular leader as far as the peoples of the world are concerned. Exactly what it means about not giving him the honor of royalty remains to be seen, but in today’s world royalty and monarchy grow increasingly unpopular. So perhaps it means he is confirmed as a leader without giving him an appellation of royalty, such as king, but he nevertheless rules as an absolute monarch in the style of ancient kings. It appears he doesn’t use violence to achieve his initial aims, and therefore would probably present himself as a promoter of international peace. But whatever his platform, he achieves his aims through intrigue.
In the early stages of the Antichrist’s regime, everything will appear to be going well. He’ll be trying to make everybody happy, and will somehow manage to bring peace to many parts of the world. He will seem to be the smartest man who ever lived, with the greatest power and the greatest wisdom, able to solve intractable problems, stop all wars, and put everybody to work building peace. “Peace and safety” will be a slogan of his government and the general populace. “Everything’s going to be peaceful and safe now. No more wars. Everything’s going to be secure. Everybody’s going to have plenty” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). And despite some setbacks and troubles, initially it will seem to be true!
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